Thursday, May 22, 2014

What We Are To Be Doing While We Wait For Jesus To Return

John 14:18-21
What We Are To Be Doing While We Wait For Jesus To Return

     “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.”- Jesus

     What can compare to the love of God! What can compare to knowing that the Creator of all has His eye on you and that His heart is fixed on you? If we love Jesus and desire to keep His commandments with all our heart, this is a good indication that we have been born again! “After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also.” We live in the days where the world does not behold our Savior for He has gone to prepare an eternal home for us and has not come back yet. However, to each of us who eagerly await His coming back, He has promised to reveal Himself to us and to send His Holy Spirit to be our constant companion. I urge us not to treat this gift lightly or to take it for granted. Our Lord and Savior reveals Himself to us daily and desires us to walk among the world and do the work He would be doing if He were here in person. He desires for us to take care of one another. He said before He left, that we would do the works which He did and greater works as well, and what things did He do? He healed the sick, preached the Gospel to the poor and made disciples. If we are to follow in His steps these are the things we should be doing. I want to talk a little bit about preaching to the poor. It gives us the proper heart attitude as we serve the Lord, for the poor have no way to repay you for your work in a physical way and so all of your provision for the work must come from God. This is a good lesson because it weans out selfish ambition and greed from the hearts of all who serve in this way. Love becomes the motivation for all that is done and Jesus says that if we give even a cup of cold water to the least of these we are doing it to Him.
     To keep the commandments means that we have God ordained work that needs to be done. He has work for each of us to be doing so that we might be a blessing to one another and strengthen one another. Isaiah 58:6-8 says, “Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and to bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh (family)? Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”
     God wants us to love one another and to consider the wellbeing of our neighbor before ourselves. It is a life of real love that God has called us to and it is a deep and sincere love that He has for us. Let us rejoice and depend upon His love that we may go forth without worry as we set out to love one another as He has taught us.

     God bless you all!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Jesus’ Desire For Us To Know Our Heavenly Father

John 14:8-12
Jesus’ Desire For Us To Know Our Heavenly Father

     Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”

     Jesus’ words in this passage are so sincere. He longs for Philip to understand that He and the Father are so completely one that to know Him is to know the Father. He says to Philip that He doesn’t even speak on His own initiative but that whatever the Father desires to share or do is what He does. This is a very touching conversation Jesus is having. He is about to be crucified and He really wants to convey what is in His heart to Philip, the other disciples and to us. He really wants us to know that He and the Father are one and to know Him is to know the Father.
     How do we apply this heart stirring conversation to our own relationship with Jesus? He has told us many times that He desires for us to be one with Him just as He and the Father are one. And He explains how He lives every moment in such close fellowship with His Father that He is continually speaking His Father’s words and acting on all He has for Him to do. This is our guide to how close a fellowship He desires for us to have with Himself. We can see the heart of God through Jesus’ tenderness towards the blind and the lame and the hungry, His tenderness towards those who are condemned to be stoned to death and for the ones who were horribly demon-possessed. We can see His tenderness for the dying daughter and for the woman who came to the well to whom He gave Living Water instead, and His tenderness to the handful of rough fishermen who became the pillars of His church. We see His heart when He looked down upon Jerusalem with anguish saying how many times He desired to gather them under His wing like a mother hen gathering her chicks, and with His final words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
     The final word for this message is this. We have been called to share in this intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. He desires for us to be so close to Him that we are constantly conveying His love and compassion to others both speaking and doing all the things that are on His heart. Jesus says that because of His finished work on the cross not only will we do the work that He was doing but would do even greater things. So we have to ask ourselves, “How closely have we been fellowshipping with our Heavenly Father?” Enough to always know what He is thinking, enough to always know what He would have us to do, enough to be completely one with Him in every area of our life? It is such a close relationship that He desires for us to have with Him and these are some of the facets of it. This kind of relationship with Him requires keeping the final commandment that He left for us which is to love the Lord with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.
     Let us renew our desire to walk this closely with Him. We need Him this much in order to avoid all the temptations and to be fruitful workers in His vineyard. May God bless each of you and fill you with a fresh love for Him that willingly puts down all distractions to follow Him.      God bless!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Go to Prepare a Place For You

John 14:1-3
I Go to Prepare a Place For You

     “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am you may be also.”- Jesus

     Where is your heart today? What are you striving to achieve? What drives you when you wake up each morning and confirms to you that you’re on the right path? I know that I have days when my life makes sense and I’m excited to be alive, however on other days I wake up and wonder, “What am I doing with my life?” “Where is it going?” “Does it have any purpose?” There are days when my trust in God falters and my faith is weak and I say, “Jesus are You really there? Are You really watching over me because so many things in my life just aren’t making sense?”
     Jesus wants to assure us that His love for us is great and in these few verses He redirects our sight to eternal things. We get distracted and discouraged by the everyday occurrences and forget that these days are only temporary. “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me, in My Father’s house are many dwelling places.” “I will come again and receive you to Myself.” These are words Jesus means for us to take to heart. He says these things with compassion knowing how easily our hearts are troubled – minute by minute, day by day. He desires to assure us that He has an eternal place prepared for us and that He will return to bring us safely home to Himself.
     I want to encourage us all to redirect our hearts today towards our Savior. He is faithful and whatever earthly thing you struggle with, He will see you through it. He left us with words of comfort and assurance that we might meditate upon them and be comforted by them. In Jeremiah 33:19-22 God confirms that His promises to us cannot be broken. And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day, and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed times, then My covenant may be broken with David My servant that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.” As God has promised that nothing can break His covenants with His people or with the day and night, so also He will not break His promises that He has made to us that we would become part of the heritage of Abraham by being grafted in to his family.
     Let us remember His promises to us today and let us renew our vows to walk in holiness before Him each day. He loves us and will be our Heavenly Father for all of eternity! God bless you all this day!